Custom lighting, not decoration, creates the atmosphere at an Austrian burger spot

Graz, Austria – Four times a day, Freigeist Burger, a new eatery in the Austrian city of Graz, changes face. FIPE Architecture worked with artist Benni Höfler to develop a patterned, painted ceiling based on the RGB colour model; bars of LED lighting installed on top reflect changing hues in the space, depending on the meal served and time of day.

Markus Fischer, the practice’s CEO and founder, explained: ‘Breakfast is more colourful, dinner is less, and closer to night, the more “neo-noir” the setting is supposed to get.’

It’s a space that forgoes decoration – Fischer explained that the team didn’t want the architecture to be dependent on it – showing instead how lighting can be utilised to its fullest atmospheric potential. ‘Most interiors need to be pimped-up with decoration in order to create proper atmosphere – we wanted the restaurant’s architecture itself to be able to create atmosphere, and furthermore, change it,’ he said.

The LED lighting system totally fit the shape of the 340-sq-m restaurant, melting into different hues depending on their interaction with the varying colour patterns above. Those patterns were specifically crafted for different zones: the bar, for example, shines redder in the evening than any other time. In another area, there is no red at all, so the room embodies a grey brightness. Covering the whole system is an expanded metal sheet that gives the feeling as if the coloured light were ‘emerging’ from above, day and night.

Location Klosterwiesgasse 2, 8010 Graz, Austria

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